AILA's Pro Bono Newsletter

Pro Bono Newsletter, Summer 2013

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voices of pro bono "Pro bono service is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to come in contact with individuals who desperately need legal advice for their complex immigration matter. Having someone explain the complexity of U.S. immigration law and help them navigate the system empowers these individuals to begin formulating a positive plan for their future. Without the pro bono legal services offered by ILAP and its volunteer attorneys, these individuals would struggle through the process on their own." ‑SS WHY DO YOU PRO BONO? Share your story with us! E-mail us at probono@aila.org. "It is through all of my asylum clients' strength that my legal practice is given a sense of purpose. I truly believe that, as an attorney, it is my duty to give back to the community and help those in need. It is a small step toward increasing access to justice within the United States. By undertaking pro bono asylum work, we attorneys are able to effectuate a positive change, one person at a time." ‑JA CHAPTER HAPPENINGS: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CITIZENSHIP DAY: The Southern California Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (SOCAL AILA), again working closely with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), held its annual National Day of Citizenship on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, California. In addition to NALEO, the Los Angeles Legal Aid Society, Coalition for the Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and other communitybased organizations co-hosted the event. MISS AN ISSUE? No Sweat. Check out AILA's archive. During the event, Citizenship Day volunteers from SOCAL AILA, NALEO and the other community-based organizations assisted 150 applicants with the preparation and review of their naturalization applications and provided an overview of the naturalization process, beginning with what to expect following submission of their applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Although the organizers had anticipated a larger turnout, the smaller turnout ended up benefitting participants, as they were able to proceed more quickly through each of the various stations. Several SOCAL AILA members volunteered at the event, including Linda Nakamura, who summed up the spirit of the day. When asked why she decided to volunteer, she replied, "I love helping people!" Some of the volunteers and participants had the opportunity to speak with Phyllis A. Coven, District Director of USCIS District 23, who stopped by the event. In addition to the annual National Day of Citizenship, SOCAL AILA has worked closely with NALEO and other community-based organizations for many years and provides attorney volunteers for naturalization workshops on a near-monthly basis. Given the large geographical region covered by the Chapter, these monthly events have provided volunteer opportunities to members not just in Los Angeles, but in Orange and San Bernardino Counties as well. FOLLOW AILA FOR THE LATEST ON IMMIGRATION! YOUTUBE, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, and LINKEDIN COPYRIGHT © 2013 AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRINTED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER. SEND REPRINT REQUESTS TO PUBS@AILA.ORG www.aila.org 6

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